National Historical Publications & Records Commission

Papers of the War Department, 1784-1800

refer to caption


Papers of the War Department website


George Mason University

East Stroudsburg University

Additional information at

Fire destroyed the War Department office in 1800. For decades historians believed that its files, and the window they provide into the early federal government, had been lost forever. This collection unites copies of the lost files in a digital archive that reconstitutes this invaluable historical resource. The search for the copies of the records involved painstaking research, visits to more than 200 repositories, and consulting of more than 3,000 collections in the United States, Canada, England, France, and Scotland. These 42,000 documents record far more than the era’s military history. Between 1784 and 1800, the War Department was responsible for Indian affairs, veterans affairs, naval affairs (until 1798), as well as militia and army matters.

Previous Record   |    Next Record   |    Return to Index